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Children progressing and learning in series fiction

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Posted by wdmtgts on February 06, 2019 at 13:13:52 user wdmtgts.

Half-listening to Radio 4 this evening and suddenly I tuned into a mention of classic children's lit - not AR but comparison of the Famous Five and the Chalet girls - in a most unlikely context. It was in a programme called Only Artists, in which Val McDermid meets the Scottish graphic artist Vin Deighan. (It started at 9.30pm on 6th and the reference comes at about 9.40ish, if you can catch the play-again version.)
The artist was saying that in the Famous Five 'it's always the same summer', with no learning or development - no 'We'd better not go into that dark cave, as when we did that last year we got captured by gypsies'. In contrast, he said, in the Chalet School series the girls do learn, e.g. from a tobogganing accident. I can't comment on the Chalet series, but he's quite right about the F Five - though not of all Blyton, as in the term structure of Malory Towers all the girls have a history, and there are examples of learning and redemption. And of course while in AR the timeline is sometimes hard to follow, the children do learn and progress. An interesting theme!

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